Beyond Billabonghas been chosen to deliver the Queensland Government’s Sentenced Youth Boot Camp program for the Townsville/Cairns region. Boot Camp is an early intervention initiative aimed at supporting young people before they become entrenched in the criminal justice system by diverting them from detention into an holistic, integrated program.
Working closely with the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Beyond Billabong delivers the 28-day residential program which is designed to address the causes of offending behaviour in young people; provide a direct consequence for offending; increase the supervision of young people through activities that build participants’ confidence, self-esteem and life-skills; and support their re-engage in education, training and employment.
Following the residential phase of the program, participants continue to receive mentoring and support from Beyond Billabong staff as they transition back into their community. Beyond Billabong partners with government agencies, service providers and community organisations to deliver a wide-range of support services in areas including health and nutrition, mental health and substance misuse, anger management, education and vocational training, family support and community reparation activities.
The Sentenced Youth Boot Camp is changing young people's lives and reducing crime in the region. Queensland Government figures show that in the six months since mandatory sentencing began in the Townsville region in May 2014 there have been on average 11 youth appearing before court on motor vehicle charges per month; the same period last year before the boot camp began there were 46 youth appearing before court on motor vehicle offences per month. That's a 76% reduction in the number of young people before the courts on motor vehicle related charges.
Through the Sentenced Youth Boot Camp program, young people are receiving the support and services they need to make better life choices and become positive role models in their communities. You can read some our participants' stories here